Posted on October 15, 2012 by Marci
If you drove down 6th Avenue a couple of weeks ago while they were prepping to pave, you would’ve seen the red brick road that is normally hidden. Des Moines has had many different types of surfaces over the years:
- The first surfacing of macadam was applied to Des Moines streets in 1882.
- Cedar blocks were used from 1882 to 1891.
- Brick came in 1889, and in 1901 asphalt was applied to 21st St.
- Concrete arrived on the streets in 1907 on 19th.
Source: Des Moines Register 5/12/1950
You may also be interested in The Origins of Des Moines Street Names.
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Posted on January 19, 2011 by bashiffler
Today’s math lesson: Early 1900s + Thousands of Model T’s being manufactured and sold + Bad roads = Need for a new highway in Iowa. Hemmings Motor News, which is a collector-car magazine you’ll find at the Central and Franklin Avenue/MHM libraries, published in its January 2011 issue a story about the “River to River Road” proposed by prominent Iowans of the early 20th century. As amazing as it seems today, 10,000 Iowans, on their own time and at their own expense, lined up across the state on a Saturday in 1910 and built a highway from border to border – in around one hour. This account is verified by stories on the Web sites of the Iowa DOT and the White Pole Road Association. It’s an astonishing tale of the can-do spirit of Iowans from more than a century ago.
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